Friday, September 09, 2005

Well, once again this blog has brought an immediate response from the Spanish government. After my comments yesterday about the lack of consumer protection, they announced today they’re bringing forward a bill which addresses the charging abuses popular with phone companies and parking operators.

Talking of abuses, there was an interesting meeting reported in yesterday’s local papers. This was between the grape growers and the wine producers, who agreed they’d fly in the face of commercial reality and maintain grape prices at a Euro a kilo despite another bumper harvest and massive oversupply. Mind you, they also decided to set up a special team to monitor the market and try to stop buyers and sellers ignoring this Canute-like arrangement. Tellingly, in the framework of an agreement in which the interests of consumers were flagrantly ignored, any would-be deviation from the set price was termed ‘an abuse’! I believe I’m right in saying that, in the USA and the UK, not only the agreement but also the very meeting at which it was reached would be illegal as being contrary to the interests of consumers. But not in Old Europe, of course. Where, on Mr Chirac’s insistence, quotas are placed on Chinese bra imports to make life more comfy for inefficient French manufacturers.

My daughter in Madrid has passed on the comment of an Australian friend on Spanish TV – They seem to think a pause is indicative of weakness.

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